Hear from a young man who takes pride in the nation of Singapore, and believes strongly in our missional call as a nation.
My heart is overflowing with gratitude as we celebrate our nation’s 51st birthday. I can be very certain that no one would have believed that Singapore would have come this far since 9th August 1965. Only He knew. We had almost nothing when we started out, but God has poured out His blessings upon our nation with so much. Now, we have good and wise leadership, racial and religious harmony, and an ever-improving infrastructure.
In 1979, Billy Graham prophesied that Singapore would be the, ‘Antioch of Asia’. Here are the reasons why I find his words so compelling. And surely all the blessings our nation has received are for His purposes; to establish and extend His kingdom.
1. We boast multi-racialism and multilingualism
Just last Sunday, I worshipped God in English, Mandarin, Tamil and Malay, after attending a Family Day Service at my local church.
In the 1950s, our little Red Dot went through tumultuous times as racial riots erupted ever so often, threatening to tear our delicate societal fabric apart. Today, we live in peace and harmony with different races and languages in our midst. That, in itself is a success story. A story that many nations can only aspire to.
2. We boast geographical proximity and connectivity
Yes, we all know that our island sits in the center of strategic sea trade routes. But that’s not my point. I am talking about aerial connectivity with the rest of the world.
Last year, I served in Indonesia and remember travelling 7 hours on the road to get to the airport. Also, I remember my local Indonesia friends saying they would swing by the seaport, because they have never seen the sea. At that moment I was like, WHAT? You have never seen the sea in your life?
Yup. In fact there are billions who do not have a passport, because they have never been out of their own country, maybe not even travelling within their own region.
It is no coincidence that our reach is global.
3. We’ve got the Singapore Passport
Our passport is ranked 6th in the world, with a visa free access to 167 out of 219 countries. Okay, we aren’t first, so which countries are our ‘competition’?
The best passports being UK, Finland and Sweden has visa free access to 173 countries. That is just 6 more visa free countries. Surely we don’t have to be the first in this aspect to do God’s work right?
4. We’ve got Reputation
Every country has a stereotype stuck onto her. Beyond the hackneyed recognition of chewing gums and caning, Singapore is also known for being clean, both environmentally and politically. Our reputation for a lack of corruption is advantageous.
Setting up a business overseas might be much easier than another tentmaker from another country that does not enjoy such a reputation.
We’ve got access.
National reputation takes decades to build. We are blessed with it. So, let us utilize it for His kingdom.
5. We have resources
We don’t have any natural resources, but we gained the technology that can help benefit many poorer countries.
I’ve heard so many missions trips that are humanitarian-based. Sharing and sending various water technology over to areas where there is limited access to clean water.
We are quite a bit better educated, on paper. So doing trainings of any sort, be it leadership, general health and hygiene, are areas of expertise we must continue to leverage on and bless other nations with.
6. We are a success story
Last year, when Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew passed on, my professor gave an eulogy, “Everything you see around, has his fingerprints. The MRT you sit on, this very school you are studying in, and even the trees by the roadside has his fingerprints.”
Any good leader knows that a strong reliable team is the backbone of any ground-breaking reforms or historic moment. God was so faithful to have blessed Singapore not only with MM Lee, but a tenacious team to propel Singapore onto the world stage. The amount of influence Singapore wields on the international realm is honestly another God-given.
When Deng Xiao Ping met MM Lee in 1978, this meeting preceded China’s decision to open up its economy. Go ahead, Google it and study some history. Just a quick rain check: As of this year, we are only 51, an extremely young nation, with a population of slightly above 5 million. And we managed to influence the leadership that is leading a country boasting a history of 5000 years and a population of 1.3 billion.
As we remember to remain humble where our position wields such influence in the globe, we bring glory to Him. Every failed state is due to selfish ambition and insecurity within the leadership rank. We have been very blessed not to be plagued by either.
As I come to a close… Let us give thanks for the incessant and superb blessings God has given Singapore. So Singaporean, what are you waiting for? Let us be a medium where God’s love and blessings reaches out to the nations. And intercede for a broken world.